Archive for April, 2009

The Rule of 5

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

abbyWhat is the Rule of 5?

Recently I’ve been reminded several times of Principle 23 in Jack Canfield’s book, The Success Principles.  Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul, were overwhelmed by the many different ways they could market their new book, so they developed the Rule of 5 which is simply “every day, we do five specific things that will move our goal toward completion.”  By breaking the overwhelming task of creating a bestseller down into 5 things to do per day, they simplified their goal and, after a couple years, achieved bestseller status!

OK…I get it!

Sometimes it takes a while.  I read Success Principles several years ago.  John Maxwell retells the Canfield story in his new book, Put Your Dream to the Test which I just read a couple weeks ago.  This morning when I looked through my email and saw Jessica Swanson, “The Shoestring Marketer”, talking about the Power of 5, I decided it was time to apply this little tool to my own goals.

Major Definite Purpose

My biggest goal at this stage in my life is financial independence.  Because there are an overwhelming number of ways one could achieve financial independence, this goal is a perfect candidate for the Rule of 5.  Beginning today, I will practice the Rule of 5.

Book Review Tuesday: John Maxwell's Put Your Dream to the Test

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Put Your Dream to the TestSorry.  I know it’s a blatant copy of Michael Hyatt’s Book Review Friday.  Call it borrowing best practices.  My Discipline talent/strength likes the routine and structure of assigning a day to book reviews.  This week, thanks to Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program, I got to read John Maxwell’s new book.  Put Your Dream to the Test hopes to help readers see their dreams and seize them.

What Dream?

One of the questions Maxwell asks is “What would you do if you only had five years to live?”  I found this question to be a unique alternative to the usual “What would you do if you had all the money you needed?”…I’ve been pondering…


I love reading success stories.  John Maxwell always rounds up some good ones.

He tells a great Michael Hyatt story about when Hyatt became Publisher of Nelson Books.  I love that Hyatt got away from the day to day distractions for a couple days with just a notebook and pen.  Sometimes that’s the only way to connect with our big picture vision.

Another story that Maxwell included was from the early days of Chicken Soup for the Soul.  Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen did five things per day to move themselves closer to their best-selling book dream.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed and our big dreams get pushed out of the way by the daily “emergencies”.  Keeping momentum moving forward even by performing a few small steps consistently is good advice.

Joe the Barber

Sunday, April 12th, 2009
Joe drywalling

Joe drywalling

Unlike my brother Joe, I’m no handyman.  So what was I doing spending a perfectly good Saturday afternoon hanging drywall with my brother Joe in my parents house?!  It seems I do stuff with Joe…housing projects, hunting, splitting wood, etc. not because I especially like doing those things, but because I like to hang out with Joe.  My Relator talent is happy to spend time with my brother.  I think Joe also has a Futuristic talent in his top five so we enjoy talking about things we could do and what things might look like.  We talk about potential real estate, businesses to start, how a house or town could be improved, etc.  Fun stuff!

By the way, Joe is doing a great job remodeling in my parents’ house.

StrengthsFinder 2.0

Friday, April 10th, 2009

strengthsfinder 2.0I purchased StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath so I could take the StrengthsFinder assessment that Gallup put together.  In the back of the book is a code that can be used to gain access to the StrengthsFinder assessment.  The assessment is a series of nearly 200 questions that you answer on the website.  Each question must be answered within 20 seconds so you don’t overthink the question.  As soon as you answer the last question, the site calculates your top five potential strengths and describes each.  Marcus Buckingham describes the importance of strengths testing and awareness very well in his book, Now, Discover Your Strengths, but I like the updated testing that Roth’s book gives access to.

Here are my top five talents according to the testing:

1.  Relator

2.  Analytical

3.  Discipline

4.  Focus

5.  Futuristic

So it seems that I have some answers to questions I’ve been asking.  Next I’ll be digging into each of these potentials to strengthen and capitalize on my innate talents.

Discover Your Strengths

Monday, April 6th, 2009

I’m still on my quest to find what I’m good at.

Find Your Strengths

One of the gurus on identifying and capitalizing on strengths is Marcus Buckingham.  I especially enjoy this clip of Marcus speaking to a group of Yahoo employees.   I love the British accent and dry humor…humour.  I am currently working my way through Buckingham’s Now Discover Your Strengths.   No surprise to see Analytical at the top of my strengths list.

What Does THAT Mean

One of my strengths that Marcus helped me better understand was “people skills”.  Several people told me I have interpersonal skills.  (I think that’s like “nice personality”–when you don’t want to say someone is ugly.)  😉  Anyway, Marcus points out the different types of personal skills.  While I’m not innately gifted at walking up to strangers and kicking off a conversation, I do have some strength at gaining trust and working well with people after the connection is formed.

I’ll be finishing the book soon and will post the rest of my ramblings on this topic post haste.  What are your strengths?